Garden Journal Program
VENUE:  While the main focus of this program is on journaling ideas that do not use the computer or the internet, online access would be very beneficial (but not necessary) to illustrate online recourses for journal material and show personal online web garden journal.   Suggested venues might be the Lecture Hall or the Forum at the Margre Henningsen Durham Classroom Center on the Dana Campus, Blair Public Library (I can supply internet access at the meeting room,) Blair City Hall, Jake's Bar or one of the churches in internet access.    Program

Benefits of Keeping a Garden Journal

  • Place to organize information
  • Memory enhancer
  • Heirloom
  • Plant registry
    Helps keep records on the exact names of plants, since labels invariably become lost or illegible in the ground.   Helps with re-labeling process
  • Provide an organization structure for learning
  • Horticultural Therapy

Different Kinds & Styles of Garden Journals

  • Diary Journal / Personal journal
    More like a traditional journal, this format allows a gardener to write about the impact their garden makes on their life. It’s a place for reflection – on the miracle of rebirth of spring, the impatience that accompanies planting a small plant, the delights of nature.
  • Daily Log
    a book with one page devoted to each day of the year will allow you, at a glance, to see the past three years and what was in flower during the first week of April.
  • Clipping File
  • Plant Registry  **
  • Progress Journal
  • Planning Model
    Perhaps the most satisfying type of garden journal is the dream book, filled with notes taken on garden tours, photos of public gardens, magazine pictures of plant combinations or ornamental features. This format serves as a source of inspiration and a beginning point for future plans. You may also simply need a place to jot down reminders – like, “move lily bulbs to back of border when foliage begins to die in fall.” Another type of planning journal may have graph-paper pages, for scale drawings of garden plans.
  • Keepsake Scrapbook
  • Photo album
    For those who aren’t much into writing, snapshots tell a story too. Looking back on spring’s photos from autumn’s perspective can remind you what needs to be moved or divided, or where there is a gap in your succession of bloom.


  • Three-Ring notebook **
  • Bound Blank page notebook
    Bookstores often feature blank garden journals that feature artwork, quotes, or horticultural info. Some other suggestions for journal possibilities include: blank books, calendars, accordion files, a scrapbook, a photo album, a loose-leaf binder.

  • Index cards and box
  • Commercial Garden Journal
  • File Drawer/ Organizer / Box
    A journal with pockets or plastic sleeves can help you keep track of garden catalogs, receipts, order forms, helpful magazine articles, seed packets, notes that you scribbled on a scrap paper, etc. A pretty decoupage box can also be a good place to keep things together – no one says a journal has to be a book.
  • Computer Files or Website or software (


  • Find a Format that fits your needs, style and time commitment
  • Establish an information gathering place
  • Maintain a routine weekly work session   (hardest thing to do)
  • Start simple with options to expand
  • Set a mission for your journal & Seek It!!
    (Decide first what you’d like your journal to accomplish.)
  • Start with Plant lists, Plant Profiles, Yearly Progress & Task Schedule

Get Started   (uses printed formats -- examples)

  • Plant Lists
    • Current cultivation
    • Wish list
    • Interesting plants
    • Plants already tried
  • Plant Profile
    • Common Names & Botanical Name
    • Photograph
    • Location planted
    • Category:  annual, perennial, tuber, spring bulb, trees, etc.
    • Zone, sun light, moisture, soil conditions
    • Size, growth & blossom characterizes
    • Dates- planting, division, moving
  • Yearly Progress
    • Plant list for specific beds  (new plants, carry-over plants)
    • General garden additions and changes
  • Task Schedule
    • Organize my month or season
    • List transplanting, dividing, planting, pruning, spraying, fertilizing, etc.

Other Ideas of things to Journal

  • Garden Plots, Graphs & Maps
  • achievements from year to year and record the changes you've made to your garden
  • Weather notes, especially those that may affect garden results (late frosts, hailstorms, drought, etc.).
  • Performance ratings -- Blooms, growth, divisions, etc.
  • Problems/Solutions
    insects, diseases, attempted solution, Beneficial insects, pesticides used, application rates and results.
  • Fertilizers used, application rates and results.
  • Schedule of tasks for next season
    a monthly maintenance calendar that outlines when to stake the peonies (before they get too tall), when to prune the roses, and when to fertilize the lawn.
  • Personal Observations
    • Dried or pressed leaves and flowers
    • Wildlife notes
    • Human visitors and their comments
  • organize your records by date, month, season, garden area or whatever.

Show example of Online Journal